Northern Iraq (North and North Central Regions – including the KRG)
The Northern Region reported 30 incidents during the period, a slight reduction on last week’s figure of 33, but above the 2012 weekly average of 25. As is normal, all incidents occurred in Ninawa province. Mosul remains the insurgent main focus in Ninawa, this week witnessed a greater proportion of small arms fire (SAF) attacks in the city with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) continuing to be the target of choice, with a combination of attacks against checkpoints and drive-by shootings. On 23 November, a shooting attack targeted the Sunni Endowment Associate Director, outside a mosque in the city. A number of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and under-vehicle IED (UVIED) attacks were also reported, albeit in smaller numbers than usual. The Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al- Naqshbandia (JRTN) commander for Mosul was reported to have been apprehended during a raid in the east of the city and while this is likely to affect JRTN’s operational capability in the short term, it is unlikely to result in an appreciable change in the security situation in the city. Outside of Mosul, the areas of Tal Afar to the west and the Tigris River Valleyto the south, continued to record a proportion of attacks. The most significant attack took place at the headquarters of the Iraqi Army in Rabiah in north-western Ninawa, when a suicide car bomb (SVBIED) detonated, injuring six.
The North Central Region reported 36 incidents during the period, similar to last week’s figure of 35 and on par with the 2012 weekly average. While incident numbers in Kirkuk province increased to fourteen, Salah al-Din province, predominantly the areas of Tikrit, Bayji and Shirqat recorded the most significant increase with figures doubling from last weeks count. Diyala witnessed a substantial decrease this week, following last week’s spike. This week saw eleven ISF operations in Diyala, compared to three in Salah al-Din and none in Kirkuk. Insurgent related violence in the rural areas of Kirkuk Province, particularly in the vicinity of Riyadh and Hawija, indicates that insurgents continue in their efforts to contest these areas. Within Kirkuk, a car-bomb (VBIED) targeted the Director of the Shia Endowment on 20 November; the attack was followed up by an IED targeting first responders to the scene. An IED also detonated against the motorcade of the Police Commander of Kirkuk. Tikrit suffered a seemingly coordinated attack on the evening of 19 November when ISF and the mosque containing the mausoleum of Saddam Hussein’s father were targeted with two VBIEDs, one of which was disarmed. IDF was also reported to have impacted in the area of the Presidential Palace complex.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) – No significant incidents were reported in the three provinces that comprise the KRG (Dahuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah) during the period.